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Ramblin’ Rose: Nevada City native finds success in art world

Rose Freymuth-Frazier and her muse, her cat Bun-Ra, pose in front of "Gone Fishing," one of the paintings in her On The Couch series.
Submitted Photo

Rose Freymuth-Frazier loves Nevada City.

“The old hometown is a special place,” she said.

Freymuth-Frazier has come a long way from her Nevada City upbringing and is now taking the art world by storm with her often provocative, frequently whimsical, and occasionally political artwork, the majority of which are oils on linen or panel.

The daughter of Bruce Frazier, a longtime mental health social worker for Nevada County, and Ursula Freymuth, who until her death in early 2017 was a ceramic sculptor who taught many in the area her craft, Rose grew up just assuming she was an artist.

“I think everyone is an artist when they are young, it’s just a matter of how much it is encouraged,” Freymuth-Frazier said. “My parents were part of that wave that settled in Nevada County in the 1970s who were really trying to forge an alternative lifestyle for themselves and their children.

“Creativity, the arts and social justice were a big part of engaging in and contributing to their community. This was all part of the lifestyle people were cultivating so the idea of being an artist to me was never something special or elite. It was just one of the things we did and happened to be what I pursued professionally.”

As a child, Rose was heavily involved in community theatre and went on to roles on the MTV series “Undressed” as well as bit parts on “All My Children” and other television shows.

“As a teenager I wanted nothing more than to leave town and I did leave pretty young,” she said. “I was 16. I originally came to New York City to study theatre and through a sequence of events eventually began my training as a painter.”

Acting eventually made way for Freymuth-Frazier’s passion for painting. She first studied art at The Art Students League of New York, then met Steven Assael at a Master’s class at the New York Academy of Art. She became his assistant and worked with him privately for two years, then traveled to Norway to study with figurative painter Odd Nerdrum at his farm on the North Sea. She spent a summer there observing him work, posing for paintings, and painting a lot herself.

Her work and interviews have been featured in publications such as Playboy, Buzzfeed, Chicago Tribune, Ms., Huffington Post and Hi-Fructose.

Although she said the claustrophobia of being raised in a small town led her to greater avenues, Freymuth-Frazier maintains a soft spot in her heart for the area in which she grew up.

“I’m lucky that my dad and some of my closest childhood friends are still there so I get to see them when I visit a couple of times a year,” she said. “Having such deep roots in a small town is a special thing, I still feel connected.

“It’s probably the only place in the world where I feel like an insider. I love the river, the red dirt, the deep purple-blue of the sky and the green of the pines against it. The land is beautiful and so different than the east coast so I really see that with fresh eyes every time I visit.”

Freymuth-Frazier said she is hardly alone being a hometown gal in what is perceived as a big-town art world. Many people in her circle come from relatable backgrounds, and even more have actually heard of Nevada County and its unique tendency toward the arts.

The horizon seems bright for Freymuth-Frazier, who is looking forward to some significant showings in coming months.

She said she is especially thrilled to be participating in her first museum exhibition in Germany next year where she will have one of her On The Couch paintings in a show curated by Beautiful Bizarre Magazine at Urban Nation, Museum for Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin next Spring.

“I’m exhibiting in Chicago and New York through the end of the year and will have a painting in a show in San Francisco this January,” she said. “I’m excited about an exhibition in Berlin and I’m looking forward to continuing my On The Couch paintings which are a humorous take on Freudian analysis and self-portraiture.

“Plus my cat always makes a cameo and I think the paintings are greatly improved by her addition.”

For more information please visit http://www.freymuth-frazier.com or search for freymuthfrazier on Instagram.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com or 530-477-4231.

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